Rio Golf Course finally breaks ground

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Six months after the Rio Olympics golf course was scheduled to break ground – before a land dispute halted the project – designer Gil Hanse and crew are down in Brazil Tuesday morning prepping to finally begin construction on the project.

Hanse’s team is onsite to clear non-native vegetation by hand, according to Golf Week. Then they’ll clear the lines and move dirt to shape the course before planting some Zeon Zoysia – chosen grass of the Olympics – and watching it grow over the fairways, tees, and rough.

So long as there are no more delays, Hanse’s group believes the course could be ready in as few as 18 months, and could host a pro tournament in August 2015 to give the world’s top competitors a taste of the links style course before they return for the Olympics the following year.

The 240-acre project will cost about $30 million overall and live about three miles from the Olympic Park when golf returns to the Olympics for the first time since the 1904 St. Louis Games.

The IOC offered a peek of at the course design to its Twitter followers last week which you can see here.

Fencing great Valentina Vezzali fails to qualify for Rio 2016

Mario Monti, Valentina Vezzali
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TURIN, Italy (AP) – Six-time Olympic champion fencer Valentina Vezzali has failed to qualify for next year’s Rio de Janeiro Games.

The 41-year-old Vezzali was eliminated in the second round of the foil event at the Trofeo Inalpi meet Saturday, while Italian teammate Arianna Errigo reached the semifinals and gained the necessary points to qualify.

Vezzali won at least one gold at the last five Olympics in either individual or team foil. She has a total of nine Olympic medals and 25 at world championships.

Her second son was born in 2013, the year in which she also became a member of Italy’s parliament.

Vezzali told the Gazzetta dello Sport this week that “I had another son and it was really difficult to come back. … I don’t think I have anything else to prove.”

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WATCH LIVE: Women’s slalom at 3:30 P.M. ET

Lindsey Vonn, Mikaela Shiffrin
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Mikaela Shiffrin will take on slalom today at the Aspen World Cup stop, airing today at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and stream on NBC Sports Live Extra at the same time.

Shiffrin is seeking her first win on U.S. snow; all of her first place finishes have come from European venues. She has 14 slalom World Cup titles and winning one more would tie her with France’s Perrine Pelen for sixth overall for total slalom World Cup victories.

Yesterday, both Shiffrin and Lindsey Vonn suffered crashes in giant slalom races.